A vegetarian dish guaranteed to fill you up
Easy exercise you can do at your desk
Have you ever considered how much time you sit at work? Almost half of the Australian workforce spends most work days firmly planted in their seats. Those in admin and clerical work, machine operators, managers, and drivers top the sedentary list. Yet, remaining seated brings potential problems with: weight, exhaustion, high blood pressure, high blood sugar; and neck, shoulder, lower back, knee, and thigh complaints. That’s why sitting has been labelled the new smoking!
The good news is that simple exercises help reduce these risks. Sprinkled throughout your work day, they can protect your health in important ways. Remember, it’s best to regularly stand up and move around − a light two-minute jaunt every 20 minutes is ideal. However, if it’s tough to leave your desk, these three exercises will help.
Most people who sit at a desk know what it’s like to have a sore neck, aches, stiffness, and even neck-related headaches. Regular motion may reduce this problem.
Sit with your neck tall and your head facing forward. First, turn your head to the left as far as is comfortable. Hold for 10 seconds. Then turn your head to the right, hold for 10 seconds. Next, bend your left ear toward your left shoulder. Hold for 10 seconds.
Then repeat to the right. Now, look up to the ceiling, then down to the ground. Again, hold each movement for 10 seconds.
Being healthy isn't about the weight you lose but the life you gain
It seems like every day there’s a new diet claiming to be the answer to weight loss, health and happiness. We’re bombarded with media images telling us how we should look and how to get the perfect body. It’s only natural that we can become a little fixated on our diets, and perhaps even try some convincing new diet plans.
So what about those fad diets that claim to be the magic cure? Here’s a few of the most popular diets:
People have been fasting for hundreds of years for weight loss, health, or religious reasons. There are thought to be benefits relating to insulin production and overall kilojoule intake, and as a diet based on one rule rather than complex food restrictions, some people find it easy to stick to. Eating fewer kilojoules than you use can certainly aid weight loss, but if those kilojoules all come from unhealthy foods then it’s not nutritious.
Vegans usually follow a diet high in fruit and vegetables, so it can be very healthy, with a little planning to include a balance of nutrients. It’s not automatically healthy, however – you can be vegan and just eat chips. Also the more widespread veganism has become, the more plant-based junk foods and highly processed foods are available –not so good for those trying to follow a nutritious diet.
LOW-CARB OR KETO DIETS
Certainly, eating lots of highly processed simple carbohydrates and sugars is not good for you, so yes, cut back on cake! However, complex carbohydrates are essential for a balanced diet. Choosing the right kind, such as whole grains and vegetables, is better than cutting them out altogether – the less processed the better.
The short answer is that you probably know what you should be eating, and that’s about all there is to it. People generally know that a diet high in fruit, vegetables, fibre, healthy oils and protein is good, and eating lots of sugar, salt, and saturated fats is bad.
Try and keep to the foods that you know are healthy, and get advice if you’re not sure about some aspects of your nutrition. Don’t worry about strictly following a diet plan that you find difficult, as you’ll almost certainly find it impossible to stick to.
Think about improving your health rather than how you look, and stop worrying – a bit of common sense is the best diet.
Why do we set a treatment schedule? It’s a little asked question that we think is important, as the answer matters greatly. While one session may, at times, bring pain relief, it cannot create permanent change. It would be lovely if the body was that simple. Instead, healing takes time and effort.
Think about starting a gym program. Would you expect to reach peak fitness after a single session? No, it’s not possible. We know that changing the body, increasing fitness and strength takes time and the right kind of regular repetition (weights, for example). We understand this as an ongoing process, with each session building upon the one before. We don’t notice much change from one day to the next but, after some time, the differences can be profound; even life changing.
The same is true of a chiropractic healing approach. Adjustments build from one session to the next. In between, the body continues to grow and heal. Just like at the gym.
In addition, by the time many patients come to see us, they’ve had spinal problems for some time. Often, though, these are not felt as pain and the problem has been present much longer than symptoms might indicate. Focusing on the underlying cause can take time, but will lead to positive and longer lasting results.
That’s why we encourage you to remain on your treatment schedule. A personalised plan of chiropractic care can help to stabilise your spinal conditions and reduce pain − it has been created specifically for you, to give you the best outcomes.
Warm weather is enticing. Allow it to coax you from your gym, your home, and your stagnant routines. Instead of a dedication to the exercise machines, try a new approach. Get outdoors!
Hiking enables you to enjoy the vast blue skies, clean air, and the earth beneath your feet. You might like to embrace what the Japanese call shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing. This practice involves mindfully immersing yourself in nature − the advantages are wide-ranging and may surprise you. You may experience lowered pain, reduced blood pressure, less stress, and a happier mood. Of course, hiking is also a great way to keep fit, improve and maintain your physical stamina.
Like any physical activity, it helps to plan and prepare. Consider your current fitness level and start with a sensible distance; a route that's shorter than you would normally walk. Investigate the terrain. If your fitness is low, choose a flatter landscape and build up over time. Check on the weather and opt for a clear day. Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return; and take ways to get help if necessary.
Make sure you have appropriate first aid, footwear, clothing (plus warm, weatherproof extra layers), and sustenance. Staying hydrated is essential; as a guide, allow 250ml of water per half hour. Take more if the day is warm or the trail is difficult.
Over time, you'll learn what you need. If your hike will be several hours, take a healthy lunch and snacks: nuts, seeds, and fruit are good options to munch on as you walk.
The best way to transport your supplies is in a day backpack. You shouldn't need anything larger than 30 litres. Find a pack that suits the length of your torso and sits comfortably. To wear it correctly, use both shoulder and waist straps, and chest straps if available. Keep the back panel close to your spine. Pack as lightly as possible while staying prepared.
Before you set out, limber up your body. Stretch your calves, hamstrings, quads, back, shoulders, arms, and neck. Ask us for advice if you’re unsure how to stretch correctly, or how to pack and wear your backpack. Then, enjoy!
Do you have a pinched nerve, or wonder if you might? This condition can be incredibly painful; disabling even. So, it’s important to understand what it is, why it happens and how to find relief. Also, what steps may prevent a pinched nerve in the first place.
WHAT IS A PINCHED NERVE?
The term “pinched nerve” suggests a nerve becomes squashed. While this is can be true, a nerve can also be constricted or stretched. Because nerve tissue is soft, it’s vulnerable to injury. Bone, shortened muscles, fascia, ligaments, and the discs between the vertebrae can each push on a nerve. This alters how the nerve functions.
A nerve’s job is to enable communication; to “talk” between one part of the body and another. If pinched, the messages become fuzzy. If a damaged nerve communicates sensation; pins and needles, numbness, sensitive skin, a burning sensation, or pain may be felt. If the information is about motor function; you might experience weakness, cramps, twitching, and impaired reflexes.
BUT WHY DOES IT HAPPEN?
Imagine a nerve like a pool noodle. It’s flexible and strong. But, if you ran over it in your car, bound it tightly in rope, or stretched it out of place, it would lose its form and function. This is similar to what happens with a nerve − except a nerve is irreplaceable. Some parts of your body are more prone to pinched nerves, such as your spine.
Your spinal column is built from perfectly positioned bones stacked one atop the other. At the back, most snap together like click- lock flooring. In between sit strong, rubbery discs. Your spinal cord travels down your spinal canal from your brain to your lower back. A nerve leaves your spinal column and traverses a hole called the IVF, which lies close to the disc. If a disc herniates − if part of it bursts from its normal limits − then it can push against the nearby nerve causing it to pinch.
PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
Your spine is designed to move and protect your spinal cord and nerves, so maintaining spinal health is important to prevent pinched nerves. Staying flexible and fit and having a strong core helps achieve this goal. Practice correct lifting techniques. In addition, look after yourself. Don’t smoke. Eat well and maintain an ideal body weight; in particular, a healthy waist circumference − big bellies are a risk factor.
If you’re suffering from a pinched nerve, there is hope. We can help to ease your pain if you’re already suffering, and help reduce your risk of a pinched nerve. Optimal care and advice matter, and we look forward to working with you.
These bite-sized appetisers are so easy to make, and look stylish for any occasion.
100-150 grams smoked salmon Dense dark rye bread or pumpernickel (about 6 slices)
200 grams reduced fat cream cheese 1 medium avocado
Zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 bunch of dill, to garnish
Thin slivers of radish or lemon, capers, strips of red pepper, ground black pepper.
The human nervous system is extremely complex – how it works can be understood easily if we see it in terms of a transport network made up of three main elements: the brain and the spinal cord (the central nervous system), and the nerves cells throughout the body (the peripheral nervous system).
The spinal cord is the motorway that travels to and from the brain, and nerves are the roads that carry messages to and from every part of the body to the brain via the spinal cord. The brain receives and interprets the messages and then takes action. If you burn yourself, nerve cells at the burn site will send a pain message to your brain, which will instruct your muscles to move away quickly to prevent further injury. These messages travel almost instantly – a healthy brain can react to stimuli in one hundredth of a second.
The central and peripheral nervous systems are made up of billions of neurons (or nerve cells), which are supported by highly specialised cells that hold the neurons in place, supply them with oxygen and nutrients, and destroy bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that cause disease. The spaces between neurons are called synapses, and neurons are linked to each other with chemicals called neurotransmitters.
Because the nervous system controls and coordinates movement it is vital to keep it healthy and functioning. The main essence of chiropractic is a concentration on the spinal cord to diagnose and treat problems that affect the rest of your nervous system and your body as a whole.
You can also keep you and your nervous system healthy by:
A refreshing fruity dessert that’s easy to make, tastes delicious, and is a healthier and lighter alternative to ice-cream.
1 1⁄2 cups frozen raspberries
1 1/2 cups plain unsweetened Greek yoghurt
2 Tbsp runny honey or maple syrup 1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts
1⁄2 cup freeze-dried raspberries or blueberries, lightly crushed
Stir in walnuts, freeze-dried fruit, and the remaining 1⁄2 cup of whole frozen raspberries.
Partially thaw 1 cup of raspberries in a medium bowl, add yoghurt, honey or maple syrup and blend.
Pour into a small loaf tin and freeze for 4 hours, or until firm.
Remove from freezer and let stand for 10 minutes, decorate and serve.
Decorating suggestions: chocolate curls, nuts,
mint leaves, berries, or edible flowers.
We often draw attention to the five principles of better health (A.D.A.M.S. - Attitude, Diet, Alignment, Motion, Strength). Today, we thought it would be prudent to focus on the first principle: Attitude.
The 3 C’s are Connection, Creativity and Compassion.
To elaborate, these three values form a triune and work synergistically. That is, they compliment each other and work together to help you rise above adversity in a number of given situations.
Connection may represent inclusion in your community and connecting with your environment. Both are valuable tools to keep you strong when times are tough. Spend time in nature. Find time every day if you can to just take some deep breaths surrounded by nature. It can rejuvenate the spirit and clear the mind. Communicate with friends and family regularly, even if it is using technology, as this support reflects back to you. Another concept is to ‘find your tribe’. Connect with like-minded people. It can be draining to argue a point of view with people who are not on your page. Also, scared people can be cruel without necessarily being aware of their behaviour. Find your tribe and keep the conversation uplifting and supportive.
Creativity includes creating solutions to help you manage your situation as best you can. Perhaps, rather than waiting for the government or the sponsored media to provide solutions for you, sometimes, creating your own opportunities is both productive and empowering. No one knows your situation better than you. Take the reins in the areas you feel confident to do so and reach out to those who you know have a track record of being helpful and supportive for the concerns where you feel support is required. Creativity is also about self expression that may calm your mind and offer a sense of fulfilment. Drawing, colouring, painting, carving, building can all be creative events, to name a few. Find your creative strengths for both problem solving and lifting of your spirit. Creativity can also be expressed in a community setting, supporting your need for connection. Finding your ‘tribe’ may be a creative venture.
Compassion is a skill worth developing as when we understand the suffering of others, it helps us cope with our own. When someone contributes to creating supportive solutions for others, it often reflects emotional value back to the care giver. This is often difficult to explain and you may need to explore different styles of compassion to discover your strengths. If you provide compassion to others and they struggle to express gratitude, don’t let this stop you. Perhaps redirect your efforts elsewhere or seek to understand why others may be struggling with fear or self-defeating behaviour. One of my favourite sayings is, ‘seek to understand before you seek to be understood’. This is a grand challenge in itself, but it is a liberating skill to develop. Your compassion may also be effectively directed towards animals or the environment. Use your creativity to find where and how you can best express compassion and this will serve your connection with others and your environment.
We sincerely hope these suggestions are helpful. Please reach out to us if you need additional support or if you have any concerns that you may be unsure of.
Beyond Attitude, the other health principles may need more 'creative' solutions under the current circumstances.
Diet: If movement from your home is restricted, consider stocking up on healthy food options so that these are readily available to you. Comfort foods that are laden with sugar, preservatives or alcohol may fail to keep you strong.
Alignment: A cornerstone of Chiropractic care is this important principal. It promotes better function globally in your body. Be mindful of your posture. Integrate all the strategies we have taught you that promote your personal version of alignment.
Motion: Motion is life. Lack of motion is lack of life. Make time to clear your mind with active exercise, preferably outdoors in nature if you can.
Strength: We can share Physitrack exercise programs with you that you can follow on a phone, iPad or computer and do at home. Creating physical strength can support emotional strength as the dedication to improving your health and the discipline required benefits you on many levels.
Please never lose sight of brighter days ahead even if a current darkness seems overwhelming. It was Abraham Lincoln that coined the phrase, ‘this too shall pass’.
Adam's Back is a team of dedicated complimentary health professionals. Our aim is to support you in finding drug-free solutions for better health.